Events going green by sturesearcher


									  Convention and Events Going Green

Wong Suet Yan, Charizze

Higher Diploma in International Hotel and Tourism Management

HTMi Switzerland

The exciting and lucrative industry --- Event industry, is performing a strong role

in the global society. Why? Events touch nearly every aspects of human’s lives,

whether the social and cultural, economic, environmental or political aspects. They

have existed throughout human history in all cultures in all the time. It is one of the

fastest growing industries in the contemporary era. Especially the globalization of

the world is tremendously growing which led events are no longer operating on

only national level but on an international arena. Supplying products to target

customers and building relationships within the networks of business traders is

one of the main aims of the industry (Butan 2008). “It helps organizations seek for

financial investment of products, services, or cultures to open up the certain sector,

popularize it or lets say to “sell” more of. The event industry typically brings

together many people in enclosed spaces” (Wallace 2008).

However, there are many different contemporary issues from different aspects,

which are affecting to the event industry. For example the demographic changes

which are profoundly affecting societies, the advance in information technology,

the threat to security in terms of the risk management, the adoption of the

principles of ecologically sustainable development, pollution and waste

management, urban development, bioethics, economic crisis and terrorism.

Therefore, in this paper, the author will take one of the contemporary issues which

is currently affecting the event industry, regarding to the following points and

factors, which are the economic implications, socio-cultural implications,

environmental implications, political implications, commercial implications and
also the development of tourism, events marketing and destination marketing,

respectively supporting with different provided cases. As the saying goes, “Go

green, go green and go green” the trend of protecting nature environment in global

has gotten more and more attention. Many event companies are now consciously

seeking to manage the physical environmental impacts of their events, principles

of ecologically sustainable development were adopted by 182 governments in

1992, stated on the Agenda 21 document at the conclusion of the Earth Summit in

Rio de Janeiro. (United Nations 1992)

The “go green adoption” is trying to protect the environment in the world. Taking

the Impact Environmental Conferences & Events as an example of what they have

been doing for the environmental issues in the event industry, a number of

initiators are injected to their project which have succeeded in convincing venues

to undertake, including serving no single serve tea bags, sugar coffee or mints;

providing paper recycling receptacles in all function rooms and accommodation

rooms; ensuring all paper and supplied napkins, facial tissues and toilet paper

have a recycled content; installing centralised bottle and glass recycling outlets for

the venue, as well encoring the venue to set up a Green Committee to educate staff

and monitor the venues green initiatives (IECE 2009).

In this paper, the author will focus on the environmental issue, investigating how it

affects the event industry in aspects of all different implications.
Economic implications

Over the past decades, the growth of the event industry has sparked an awareness

of economic significance of events to local, state, national and international

economies (Lee and Back 2009). Recently, the economic recession has caused

loads of problems to all industries including the event industry. Some investors or

companies had cancelled their investment into new projects or projects which are

in progresses for example reducing the waste management in the event companies

which made quite influences to the event industries. On the other hand, going

green is an important task, which is a big step for those existing event companies.

For instance the convention centres have to invest more money into new

technologies that would use less energy in the convention centre, however the

economic recession had postponed or blocks to the green projects in convention

centres while investors are stopping investments.

Socio-cultural implications

Governments and environmentalist associations have been hosting a lot of

different kind of events in order to send the “go green” message out to people in

the world, which made a good of implication in socio-cultural, by gathering up

people from different ageing, different cultural and different society into the event.
Environmental implications

Rapid economic and population growth in the post-World War period resulted in

solid waste becoming a major environmental problem, with government

increasing its focus over the last decade on ways in which to reduce waste. Event

industry is a sector that has been subject of attention of if, because events always

have huge numbers of people, which can result in the generation of significant

volumes of solid waste. (Bowdin, Allen, O’toole and McDonnell, 2007) However,

there are still many of developing countries, where people there have lack of

knowledge about Green, and they needed to improve with a lot of money for

educating them to make a better environmental management in their own country

to contribute the event industry.

Political Implications

There are always arguments that are the governments doing ecologically

sustainable development are truly for the protection of environment? Or are the

governments doing this because of they are trying to make they richer by following

the “Green” trend and do something looking like in “green” but not exactly in the

Events       marketing,       destination       marketing         and     tourism


Event industry is playing an important role in the tourism development, going

green is as says “ecotourism” in terms of tourism. For many countries, ecotourism

is not just a support activity to finance protection of the environment, but is a

major industry of the national economy. Events can enhance the quality of life, and

thus add to the sense of place and the residential amenity of neighbourhoods.

(Bowdin, Allen, O’Toole and McDonnell, 2007) Also, destinations often use the

opportunity provided by events, to progress their overall tourism promotional

efforts, as the trend of go green, people are more into the green society, make them

feel healthier when travelling or in the when participating the events. Therefore, if

the ecotourism has developed successfully, the destination would has more event

companies would like to cooperate with, which attracted more people would like

to go for the event and enjoy the tourism there at the same time. (ibid) However,

due to the environmental issues such as climate changing, ecotourism might not

able to be sustainable in the far future, it might in the coming years but according

to scientists and environmentalists, they believed that the climate change, global

warming will destroy the environment in the world, in the future, if human do not

start to protect it.
As mentioned in the upper points of implication, it is hard to keep the Go Green

adoption in a sustainable way, some environmentalists suggested that less events

and festivals can keep the environment in a less harm situation, because holding an

event means that there is energy needed to use during the event, people have to

travel to the venue which uses transportation will create pollutions, a lot of waste

will be generated after the event, which would generate profit to the organizations

while destroying the environment. (Coastlearn, 2009)


To sum up the different implications, challenges and issues in this paper,

environmental is standing in a role, which the event industry needs to take care of

it carefully. Events can create great contribution to the economy but it can create

great pressure on resources such as energy, food, land and water that may already

be in short supply. Massively use of water and land by events and new built

facilities for particular event for example the Olympic Beijing; changes in the

landscape due to the buildings, facilities and infrastructure constructing; air

pollution and waste; disturbance to local people by noises and lighting. The

influences on the event industry by the environmental issue is something cannot

be solved shortly, due to all the different factors which are all affecting to the event

industry at the same time. What the global event industry doing was companies

generating profits for themselves, by showing the world that they are taking care

of conservation of the environment but actually was somehow destroying the


In order to focus not only today, but the future development of the event industry

by following the “Go Green” trend, improvements on waste management, risk

management, pollution control are required. Starting by an improvement of

environmental education is essential for enhancing the Green event industry will

be a good beginning. Improving control and enforcement of environmental

standards, researches on how the future event industry is going to be, how the

trend goes, to coordinate and improve the environmental issues.

Allen J, O’Toole W, Mcdonnell I and Harris R. 2002. Festival and Special Event

Management. 2nd Edn., John Wiley & Sons Australia. Milton

Bowdin, G., Allen, J., O’toole, W. and McDonnell, I., 2007. Event Management 2nd ED.


Butan, G. 2008. Introduction to Events – Multicultural influences. Neuchatel,

Switzerland, IHTTI.

Coastlearn. 2009. Sustainable Tourism. [Online] Available at: [Accessed on November 3 2009]

Hall, C. M. 1997. Hallmark Tourist Events: Impacts, Management and Planning.

Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.

Lee, M.J. and Back, K.J. 2009. A review of economic value drivers in convention and

meeting management research: International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality

Management. 22(3) pp.409-420 [online] Available at:

[Accessed on November 2 2009]

United Nations, 1992. Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable

Development. New York: United Nations Department of Public Information

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